There is nothing less interesting than someone else’s dreams. So I won’t bore you with the particulars of how I became the Chicago Cubs’ manager at the last minute overnight, and I how I got embarrassingly overwhelmed by the software the league was using to implement your daily lineup (something I wasn’t even introduced to until five minutes before game time).
• I mention it, though, because in the dream, I was constructing the Cubs’ lineup for that day’s game based on the roster as it currently exists, and I was struggling. Which, you know what? I actually thought that was kind of an interesting exercise, given how much we believe the Cubs still have to do on the positional side. If this WERE the group the Cubs were to open the season with, there would be a lot of daily moving based on match-ups, keeping guys fresh, and so on, so you can’t be too hardline on ONE SET lineup. But here’s a VERY ROUGH sketch of what you could see against right-handed starters – you can immediately see the concerns:
1. Nick Madrigal, 2B
2. Willson Contreras, C/DH
3. Frank Schwindel, 1B/DH
4. Ian Happ, LF
5. Patrick Wisdom, 3B
6. Rafael Ortega, CF
7. Nico Hoerner, SS
8. Jason Heyward, RF
9. Rotating DH?
• Against lefties, you’d have to sit Ortega and Heyward, at a minimum, which would allow you to rotate in Harold Ramirez and Michael Hermosillo and Clint Frazier, among others. If he makes the big league roster, Alfonso Rivas would rotate in there, too, from time to time at first base and DH, at least against righties. You could coordinate some decent lineups on some days.
• But, again, there are obvious issues – too many complementary guys being leaned on too heavily as everyday starters, and too much dreaming on plausible-but-unlikely breakouts. It isn’t TOO hard to see where the upgrades could easily take place (third base, shortstop, DH, OF), freeing up some of those guys to rotate around. So, your bright side from this exercise is that it’s clear the Cubs still have so many places where they could target free agents. Your downside is, yeah, that’s probably not a competitive lineup.
• I’m not sleeping on Schwindel, though:
Ryno still got it. 🦏>🐐 🎥: IG: rynesandberg23 pic.twitter.com/5Lk0CAUA54
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) December 5, 2021
• Much love, Ronnie:
11 years ago today we lost a legend, and friend. Ron Santo, miss you Buddy. #10 pic.twitter.com/hjKqJJrjuX
— Fergie Jenkins (@fergieajenkins) December 3, 2021
• Big day for a couple should-be Hall of Famers:
Minnie and Buck. Tomorrow’s the day. https://t.co/oEaJrm4kQp
— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) December 4, 2021
• Anyone can still make all the PED points they want – fair game – but this stat is still absurd:
Barry Bonds: 688 career intentional walks
The entire Tampa Bay Rays franchise combined: 650 intentional walks pic.twitter.com/zrRQIEstVv
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) December 4, 2021
• A different “Cubs” team, but I think we can all still celebrate something great:
— RealCubsFan (@RealCubsFan) December 4, 2021
• The Bulls played shorthanded, on the road, against the top team in the East, and they won:
No Coby White. No Javonte Green. Alex Caruso played just 8 minutes. The Bulls beat the Nets for the second time this season.
I'm not sure how much more evidence we need, the Chicago Bulls are one of the best teams in the league. Watch out, folks.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 5, 2021